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Joy Catherine Benson


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Joy Catherine Benson Obituary
Joy Catherine Benson

Visalia - Joy Catherine Benson passed away at the age of 90 on July 9th in Visalia, CA. She was born on December 22, 1927 in Appleton, Arkansas. Her family moved to Reedley when she was 16 years old. She graduated from Reedley High School in 1945.

She married Al Fernandez on October 21,1945. From this union she had two boys, Andy and Steven.

Al and Catherine were active members of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Reedley; teaching Sunday School, Bible study, and singing in the choir. Their home was a gathering place for Andy and Steven's friends and the youth of the church. They were sponsered by the church as missionaries to an orphanage in Acapulco, Mexico in 1960. They packed up the family, and pulled a 30 foot trailer from Reedley to Alcapulco; this would be unheard of today.

Al died of a massive heart attack in 1968. She then moved to Fresno where she attended People's Church. She met Bruce Benson, a retired minister, at one of the gatherings. They were married on January 7, 1973.

She worked as a bookkeeper, secretary, and real estate agent while living in CA. She and Bruce retired to the Missouri Ozarks in 1997. Catherine had a gift of writing short stories, poems, music, and painting landscapes of the beautiful Ozark mountains and oak trees. She loved to play the piano and sing worship songs. Her home was always open for prayer, unconditional love, encouragement and good food. Many of her most cherished and long time friends are the beneficiary of her ministry.

Due to health problems, Bruce and Catherine moved back to California to live with her brother Jerry and his wife Janet in 2011. In 2013, they moved to the Walnut Park retirement home in Visalia, CA. Bruce passed away on February 19, 2018.

She was preceded in death by her first husband Al Fernandez, her son Steven Fernandez, her sister Jackie Graham, brother Bob Fisher, and her husband Bruce Benson.

She is survived by her son Andy Fernandez and wife Linda of Clovis, CA; her "adopted" son Dr. Ron Arco and wife Dori of Newport Beach, CA; step daughter Beckie Cooper and husband Stan of West Plains, MO; and her brother Jerry Fisher and his wife Janet of Visalia, CA.

She also leaves behind numerous grand and great grand childern, nieces, nephews, and friends in CA. and MO.

A memorial service will be held in West Plains, Missouri later next month.
Published in Visalia Times-Delta & Tulare Advance-Register on July 14, 2018
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